Mashair train tickets available from Oct. 25, 2011

20th October 2011

By MUHAMMAD HUMAIDAN | ARAB NEWS

Published: Oct 18, 2011 21:57 Updated: Oct 18, 2011 21:57

JEDDAH: Tickets to board Mashair trains will be available from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3, Fareed Al-Ghamdi, the official in charge of ticket sales at the railway, announced Tuesday.

He said the tickets would be sold to domestic Haj companies, foreign Haj missions and government departments.

The official said so far, there were no instructions to sell tickets to individual pilgrims with Haj permits. The tickets are sold by the ministries of Haj and municipal and rural affairs.

Al-Ghamdi said a meeting would be held on Saturday to discuss all matters concerning the train service. He said the train, which worked at 35 percent of its capacity last year, would operate at full capacity during this Haj.

Being in its second phase this year, the train will transport 500,000 pilgrims between Makkah and the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah. It can accommodate 3,000 passengers at a time and transport more than 72,000 pilgrims an hour.

Habib Zaine Al-Abidine, deputy minister of municipal and rural affairs, said earlier this month the railway would charge SR250 from each pilgrim using the facility during Haj.

The price covers the cost of travel from Mina to Arafat and from Arafat to Muzdalifah and back to Mina during the peak days of Haj, he said.

A total of 4,000 Saudi youths who will be working for Mashair Railway were trained on the operation of the train, crowd management and grouping of pilgrims.

The Mashair fleet includes 15 locomotives and 12 cars. The landmark project has cost SR6.7 billion.

© 2010 Arab News

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